E-Records Readiness in the Context of E-Government Strategy in Eswatini

E-Records Readiness in the Context of E-Government Strategy in Eswatini

Vusi Wonderboy Tsabedze (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0043-9.ch006

Abstract

This chapter is based on a study whose aim was to assess e-records readiness in Eswatini government ministries with a view to conceptualizing framework for the effective management of e-records as a facilitating tool for e-government. The study mainly used the quantitative research approach, exploiting a survey that utilized a questionnaire as a data collection instrument. The quantitative approach was however, complemented by qualitative approach which utilized observation and interview techniques. The results revealed that the level of e-records readiness in the ministries is at an infant stage and that opportunities for increasing the depth of e-records readiness exist that require resolution. There was evidence of an irresponsive, weak, and disjointed legislative and policy framework on e-records; and a lack of contemporary records management skills. Among other recommendations, the study recommends the improvement of legislative and policy frameworks; regular training for records management staff; and soliciting senior government official support in records management.
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Eswatini E-Government Strategy And Challenges

The Government of Eswatini first initiated the process of having an e-government Strategy in 2011. The government of Eswatini used the Cabinet Secretary and the Head of the Civil Service to approach the Commonwealth Secretariat to assist it with the design of such a strategy (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2013). The 2013-2017 e-government strategy was crafted in 2013. Prior to this, the Government of Eswatini with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) undertook a study entitled: “Electronic Government for Eswatini: Assessing the Opportunities and Challenges” in 2014.

The study highlighted generic and specific opportunities for e-government initiatives in Eswatini such as:

  • Strengthening intra-governmental communications and information sharing.

  • Increasing awareness and knowledge of government intentions, policies and programmes.

  • Empowering individuals and communities, providing convenient access to the government and government services.

  • Improving the performance of government organisations and agencies.

  • Improving government accountability and transparency.

  • Presenting government as a single entity, providing multi-channel access to government and government services (Oyomno and Ramatlhape, 2004).

It was within the framework of the 2011 study that the Eswatini 2013-2017 e-government strategy was drafted. The strategy underlines that e-government can complement Eswatini’s social economic objectives in the following ways:

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